Could I have been more patient about the bad timing?

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Dating is tough, but during this pandemic it has been even more difficult. Since 2019 I have been on dating apps on and off (while trying to get over my last relationship), but never really met up with anyone because ... pandemic. On January 1st, 2021 I decided to pay attention and really make an effort to connect with guys (New Year’s resolution). It was going well until I met him.

When he first texted me on a Monday, I noticed we had matched in August of 2020, so for me it was surprising that it took him five months to reach out to me, but he explained that he was out of the country for a few months and didn't want to connect with me until he was back (that made me feel special). That day we felt very connected, and I gave him my number. The whole week he was asking me out every day until we finally met on Friday. Our date was eight hours long – a record for both of us – and it ended because I was too tired and falling asleep (he was not boring at all, I just had a long day). The following Monday he was moving to his new apartment and we had a snowstorm coming our way so I invited him to stay over at my place so he didn't have to sleep on the floor. We had an amazing time together working from home, he made me breakfast and lunch, and I could easily see myself falling for him in the future. But after he left my house, I didn't hear from him. After three days, he finally reached out and told me he was overthinking our situation. He said he really liked me but he was not ready for commitment since he had just ended a relationship of five years.

I told him we didn’t have to be exclusive or put a label on our relationship; we could just enjoy and go with the flow. He stayed over again and everything was so special, but once again he disappeared for two days after he left. I texted him and said that I didn't feel good about it and we should just end things. He apologized and agreed. After a long week of not talking at all, I texted him again and apologized for cutting everything off with a text and asked him to meet up so I could explain myself as he did it before. We had dinner at his place and I ended up staying over, everything was good, I felt we were enjoying the moment, the next day he stayed over at my place again and it was great. And then he disappeared for a whole weekend. He texted me on Monday and apologized again, but this time I told him I was choosing myself. I know my worth and I know what I want, and even though I was willing to be supportive on his path to love himself, I was not going to tolerate his hot and cold behavior. We both said amazing things about each other and he ended suggesting that we re-visit the conversation in a couple months to see where we are at. Even though I like him and really see potential with him, I told him that I was not going to be waiting for him to come back. Am I being too hard on someone who is just trying to figure himself out, to give his best version to me? Should I be more patient and supportive? I really, really like him and he checks all the boxes I wanted in a man, but timing is just the worst and we both agreed.

– Patient


Checks all the boxes.

After … two dates? Three?

It sounds like both of you were trying to make massive, serious decisions about your potential after just a few dates in person. Can't one good date simply lead to the next? Can a fantastic date five make you excited about six? There’s no specific calendar for exclusivity and defining a relationship – and decisions become a bit different during a pandemic (someone might stop seeing other people to maintain a small pod, not because it represents emotional commitment) – but your experiences with this man were so new and limited. I don't know how much you could have wanted from him yet, and you both raised the stakes so high. He started it by asking you out every day when you first started talking. What's the rush?

It doesn't sound like you had any reason to stick around and wait for him to figure out what he was looking for. You do have a vision for what you want, and that's OK. But please know that in general, patience, in any new relationship, is a good thing. Yes, pandemic dating can lead to eight-hour experiences and more intimate quality time in homes, as opposed to a quick drink at a restaurant that leaves you wondering, but you can still take your time. You shouldn't be checking any boxes until there's been a ton of consistency. Also, it's OK if people want to see you once and then have a few days to themselves before seeing you again.

You were hopeful about this man, but you didn't know enough. If someone new doesn't match this person's pace, it might be a very good thing. And if you hear from him again later this year, I don't know why you wouldn't answer the call. Just keep it in perspective.

– Meredith

Readers? Has the pandemic affected pacing, in general? What happened here?